DirectorMinutes from June 12, 2018-Open Board Meeting CalTrans District Director John Bulinski

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Open Board of Directors Meeting
Norton Event Center
1601 E. Third St., Suite 138
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present:   Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Tom Brickley, Ann Bryan, Mike Burrows, Mark Cloud, Ken Coate, Jacob Coin, Sandra Cuellar, Adam Eventov, Ashley Gaines, Fran Inman, Mark Kaenel, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Roman Nava, Kevin Porter, Kristine Scott, Philip Southard and David Van Voorhis.

Guests: Karen Feld, David Matza, Jake Orta and Todd Warden.

Announcements: 1) Our next meeting (6/19/18) will be held at our meeting location in Ontario.   2) Dan Murphy reported on a successful tour by the Director and staff of the California Strategic Growth Council at the CORE Arrowhead Grove Project.  Following the tour, there was also a meeting hosted by Dignity Health of approximately ten representatives from foundations and philanthropic investors which served to highlight the need for investment in San Bernardino for housing and community services.

M/S/P: Minutes from June 5, 2018

John Mirau introduced John Bulinski, CalTrans District 8 Director

Caltrans District 8 covers Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in Southern California, which includes 49 incorporated cities. The District is the largest of 12 statewide Caltrans districts and covers approximately 28,650 square miles of land. There are four interstates and 32 state routes totaling 7,200 lane miles within the boundaries.  The nine Caltrans divisions that make up District 8 employ 1,400 people.

District 8 has an annual budget of $323,419,056 of which 48% is spent on maintenance, which includes maintaining and repairing the state highway system, landscaping, and addressing litter, debris, graffiti and abatement for illegal encampments.  The Maintenance Division has a total of 600 employees that make up the 52 maintenance crews in the district.  Management of illegal encampments runs some $615,000 per year.  Caltrans forces people to move but this does not solve or address the problem and certainly takes away needed funding for road and bridge upkeep/improvements.  Another 41% of their budget is spent on Capital Outlay Support which includes design, right of way, project management, environmental processes, and construction.

To manage the State transportation network within San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, Caltrans District 8 works with various state agencies, regional transportation organizations, first responders, elected officials, and stakeholder groups. These partnerships allow for Caltrans District 8 to effectively serve the 4.5 million residents in the District.

The Legislature passed, and the Governor signed SB 1 (Beall, 2017), also known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, increasing transportation funding and instituting reforms.  Revenue is an estimated $5.4 billion-a-year increase in transportation-related taxes and fees from:

  • $0.12 cent per gallon increase of the gasoline excise tax
  • $0.20 cents per gallon increase of the diesel excise tax
  • 4 percentage points increase of the diesel sales tax
  • Annual $25 to $100 Transportation Improvement Fee
  • Annual $100 zero-emission vehicles fee.

SB 1 is intended to provide a significant, stable, and on-going increase in State transportation funding. The $5.4 billion annual revenue, allocated by the California Transportation Commissioner (CTC), will be used to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and increase investment in transit and safety. The funding will address a backlog of repairs and upgrades, while ensuring a cleaner and more sustainable travel network for the future. These funds will be split equally between State and local investments.  SB 1 funds will be protected by various accountability measures that were a part of the passage of SB 1. Another safeguard is ACA 5 (Prop 69), a constitutional amendment guaranteeing that SB 1 funds go to transportation related projects.  A total of 81% of voters approved this amendment on the June 2018 ballot.  Improvements to trade corridors on the Interstate 10, 215 and State Route 60 are planned.  SB 1 funding will allow Caltrans (by 2027) to replace the following:

  • 17,000 miles of pavement
  • 55,000 culvert or drains
  • 7,700 signals and sensors
  • 500 bridges

Changes in technology indicate the “gas tax” is not sustainable and Mr. Bulinski favors the fairness of a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) system.  Challenges include reporting privacy, collection and administration.

Caltrans District 8 has made community outreach and engagement a top priority. In the development of any project, District 8 holds and takes part in various community meetings. Additionally, the District makes itself available to the public to hear their comments and concerns.

They are proactive in bringing awareness to issues that are important to the residents that they serve. These issues include littering, distracted driving, pedestrian safety and winter preparedness.  They provide awareness campaigns that include traditional marketing, press conferences and social media outreach in conjunction with their partners. District 8 hosts groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies with the community to celebrate completion of important projects that will have a major impact on our state transportation network.  These events are a way of showing appreciation to the residents who live near and will benefit from a project and the partners who helped complete the job.  Additionally, they participate and host various special events throughout the year including celebrations, memorials, recognitions, etc.   The Adopt-A-Highway Program provides an avenue for individuals, organizations, or businesses to help maintain sections of roadside within the State transportation network within San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Groups have the option to participate as volunteers or to hire a maintenance service provider to perform the work on their behalf.  From July 2012 through June 2016, program participants collected over 77,000 cubic yards of litter from California’s roadsides, a value of approximately $18,000,000 a year to California’s taxpayers.

A Q & A period followed.

Sandra Cuellar summarized California Bill SB 822 (Wiener) and indicated Charter Communications opposition to the bill.  The Legislative Committee has been asked to review and weigh in.


Meeting adjourned 8:31 a.m.